the romantic poets: living outside of existing concepts

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The Romantic Poets: Living outside of existing concepts. English IV: AP and Dual Credit. Key Characteristics. Absolute originality Poetry is “prior” to other theological or moral philosophies Unlike other periods of literature that were meaning dependent upon theology, history, philosophy - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • PICK UP MULTIPLE CHOICE PRACTICEThe practice is TWO pages. Please make sure you pick up both.

    You have 10 minutes to complete the practice.

    Go ahead and take out your poetry packets as well.

  • The Romantic Poets: Reform and RevolutionEnglish IV:AP and Dual Credit

  • Key CharacteristicsAbsolute originality/artistic inspiration by the individual geniuscreation from nothingnessthe institution of originalityJohn Milton pioneered the concept (though he would likely be horrified by the results)Became a cult of sensibility (not reason, SENSES)Focused more on women, children, noble savage, pure nature, the common man. Sentimentality, exoticism, nature, human aspirationShake off oppression: Prometheus Rising!Characterized by a reliance on imagination and subjectivity of approach, freedom of thought, and expression.Favored imagination over reason, emotions over logic, intuition over science. The artist apart from society (social critic/revolutionary)

  • Rousseaus Noble SavageGoodness is innate/natural goodness in the sense that one has not been exposed to evilThink the Creature BEFORE his understanding of absolute and utter alienation. Rousseau established the cult of the individualI felt before I thought. For the Romantics, this underscores the notion of celebrating the dignity and goodness of the common man. Not that man is necessarily moral if left to his own deviceshence, the social contract. Rousseau is responding to Hobbes who believed man had no natural or innate goodness.

  • British RomanticismTypically the British Romantic period is listed as beginning in 1798 with the publication of Lyrical Ballads (Coleridge and Wordsworth)This work affirmed the importance of feeling and imagination.However, a number of poets were already investigating many of the ideas that would shape the movement in the coming years. One such poet is William Blake.Writes in the tradition of Spencer and Milton (though they were Christian, and the Romantics were not)Blake thought of himself as a Christian, but was not a theist in any orthodox sense.

  • William Blake: The Early Romantic

  • Songs of Innocence1789Songs of Experience1794The full title of the 1794 edition: Songs of Innocence and Experience Showing the Two Contrary States of the Human SoulPoems should be read together in order to grasp true meaning. A one-sided reading will produce the wrong answer/analysisHere, Blake demonstrates a consciousness towards the Miltonian idea of how/why good and evil exists in world presumably ruled by a benevolent God.

  • Blakes modes of perceptionBecame very popular for the RomanticsChildhood--a time of protected innocence, but it is not immune to the fallen world, to evil.Here, the human spirit blossoms because it is unfettered, the imagination is not tempered by rules.Experiencemarked by the loss of childhood vitality, innocence, awareness of evil, fear, and inhibition.Here, the human spirit withers because of the addition of rules, doctrines, traditions.Yet neither state is perfect nor preferred.

  • Contrary StatesInfant JoyThe LambThe Chimney-SweeperThe Blossom

    Infant SorrowThe TygerThe Chimney SweeperA Poison Tree

  • How do both exist? And, do they have the same Creator? Do these two entities speak to the nature of man?

  • The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: William BlakeWritten to imitate biblical prophecyWritten in prose except for the opening argumentDepicts the poets visit to Hell, imitating both Dante and MiltonBlake depicts hell not as the home of Satan, but rather the place where the repressed live--those who are striving to overcome authoritative constraints (a truly Romantic ideal).Became a fierce proclamation to shake off tyranny.

  • Famous quotes from Marriagethe road of excess leads to the palace of wisdomthe tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction"Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy. Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell."

  • John KeatsBorn in 1795 (3 years old when Coleridge/Wordsworth publish Lyrical Ballads)Studied to be a physician, but then learned he was dyingso he took up the pen. His work is characterized by sensual imagery, and a preoccupation with the idea of mortality.Often described as having the healthiest imagination of all the Romantic poets.

  • A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever --Keats--passionate love affair with Fanny Brawne; many of his poems are written to her.--dies in Feb. of 1821, relatively unknown and unread.--Keats become one of the most influential and beloved writers of the latter half of the Romantic period.

  • Remember. . .Romanticism was a revolt against IndustrializationEnlightenment (not perceived through human senses)

    The Romantics valuedImagination over logicNatureSensation/sensesShaking off tyranny/oppositionCommon man/rejection of aristocratic ideas (though Byron did love his title)

  • The Ideals of the TimeWalter Pater: It is the addition of strangeness to beauty that constitutes the romantic character in artWilliam Blake: I must create a system or become enslaved by another mans William Wordsworth: In nature and the language of the sense/The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse/ The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul/ Of all my moral being. Percy Shelley: the great instrument of moral good is the imagination

  • Solitary Tree Caspar David Friedrich, 1823

  • The Dreamer Gaspar David Friedrich, 1835

  • Wandering Above the Sea of Fog Caspar David Friedrich, 1818

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